Metatheory and Mathematical Practice in Frege

In Michael Beaney & Erich H. Reck (eds.), Gottlob Frege: Critical assessments of leading philosophers, Vol. II. New York: pp. 190-228 (2005)
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Abstract

A cluster of recent papers on Frege have urged variations on the themethat Frege’s conception of logic is in some crucial way incompatible with‘metatheoretic’ investigation. From this observation, significant consequencesfor our interpretation of Frege’s understanding of his enterprise are taken tofollow. This chapter aims to critically examine this view, and to isolate whatI take to be the core of truth in it. However, I will also argue that once wehave isolated the defensible kernel, the sense in which Frege was committedto rejecting ‘metatheory’ is too narrow and uninteresting to support the con-clusions drawn from the thesis by its proponents.

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Jamie Tappenden
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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